Buzzflash Reviews Armed Madhouse

Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats, Bush Sinks, The Scheme to Steal ‘08, No Child’s Behind Left, and Other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War (Hardcover)

A Buzzflash Review

Before we saw Al Gore’s brilliant power point presentation on global warming in “An Inconvenient Truth,” we had the privilege of viewing Greg Palast’s laptop slide show on the theft of the 2000 election. That was in early 2002 — and Palast had single-handedly exposed the nefarious ChoicePoint GOP-affiliated data mining firm. You see, ChoicePoint was used by the Bush Campaign — through Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris — to purge minority voters from the voting rolls prior to the crucial Florida election.

The story behind ChoicePoint’s role was, of course, largely ignored by the mainstream press. But Palast had them nailed, down to an analysis of how they were given permission to recklessly remove not just former felons from the roles, but even non-felons with the same names (and we are talking about thousands and thousands of people being wrongfully denied the right to vote). It was a masterful piece of investigative work, and not a single member of the corporately owned media would seriously follow-up on Palast’s damning revelations.

As a result of big media’s negligence, ChoicePoint is today perhaps the largest data mining collection firm in the nation. The data that they have culled is sub-contracted by the Bush Administration. Although it cannot be confirmed, it is quite possible that ChoicePoint is being sub-contracted by the NSA to assist with their illegal data mining. Yet, the mainstream press still isn’t connecting the dots; fortunately for us, Greg Palast is.

We’d recommend “Armed Madhouse” just for Palast’s discussion of “The Scheme to Steal ‘08.” In interviewing Palast recently, he discussed with us that each election cycle the Republicans are becoming more sophisticated in how they steal and suppress votes, with electronic voting machines, minority voter purging, and uncounted ballots being at the top of the list. So, watch out for the theft of the Congressional elections in ‘06 first.

But “Armed Madhouse” covers an even larger swath of Bush terrain. Palast knows that if you are going to make sense of the Busheviks, you have to be willing to travel over a lot of territory in order to get enough perspective to make sense of the entire destructive travesty.

Palast is part muckraker, part showman and all investigative reporter. He may be irreverent and provocative (words dear to BuzzFlash’s heart), but he grounds his allegations in the details that he laboriously uncovers as a sleuth.

The BBC and the Guardian in London have found a home for Palast, in a country where journalism is still practiced in the mainstream media. But in his home country (he was raised in the San Fernando Valley), he’s radioactive to big media. He upsets the powers that be by uncovering the truth — and that means he’s a dangerous man to mega-corporations in the United States that will do anything to keep the Bush Administration from becoming angry with them. That’s because a vengeful administration can find ways to hurt big media’s profitability.

However, Palast has gotten a measure of revenge. After many years of living in and reporting from England, he got assigned to New York. So an ocean no longer separates him from the Busheviks, and he’s hot on their tail everyday, as “Armed Madhouse” reveals.

Greg Palast is Jack Kerouac meets Seymour Hersh.

That’s quite a combination. The guy is insightful, entertaining, and does his homework.

The old media has no place for journalists who dig under the thin veneer of political public relations that passes for news nowadays. But we in the new journalism are glad to embrace Greg.

As Noam Chomsky said, Palast “upsets all the right people.”

And may he continue to do so.